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The Firewall in the Mind (Slide 14) Instructional Dialog Facility

There was a program already on the computer whose developers had given the matter some thought. They called it Instructional Design Facility, or IDF, and it was well known, a DEC invention. It was famous; I looked it up and read about it in the library at this university in Saudi Arabia.

The algorithm was quite simple. You had a space to state a premise or ask a question. When you asked a question, students could answer in one of three ways: (1) with one or more anticipated right answers, (2) with one or more anticipated wrong answers, or (3) with an unanticipated answer. The instructional design was quite simple. You keyed in the anticipated right answers and the feedback you wanted to supply to each. You keyed in the anticipated wrong answers and the feedback accordingly. And you invented a vacuous response for the unanticipated answers, such as "yes, but, well, I'm afraid I don't quite follow you there, old sport, care to give it another go?" or whatever you felt would prompt the student to try again. The computer could handle all of these scenarios, and we adapted what we wanted to teach accordingly.

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Last updated: May 23, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0